Fraser Valley
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Cariboo Cougars
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U15 AAA

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Cariboo Cougars

Trevor Sprague, General Manager

7th season

Trevor Sprague will oversee both the Integrated and Female U18 AAA teams in Northern B.C. Sprague has been involved in hockey in the north for over 30 years and has spent the last 15 years working with teams in the BCEHL. He is entering his seventh season as the general manager of the Cariboo Cougars and third as the general manager of the Northern Capitals. Sprague coached in Prince George for over 20 years before moving to the management side of the game.   

During his coaching and management career Sprague has won two provincial titles with the Cariboo Cougars’ U18 AAA team. Sprague is also a key driver behind the annual BC Hockey Winter Classic event that is held in Northern B.C. each winter. 

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Cariboo Cougars

Derek Wood, Head Coach

1st season

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Derek Wood will make his head coaching debut in the BCEHL this season with the Cariboo Cougars’ U15 AAA team. He brings over 15 years of coaching experience at the minor hockey level with him, spending time with Prince George Minor Hockey Association and the North Central/North West U15 AA zone program. 

Prior to spending time behind the bench, Wood played for Prince George Minor Hockey and eventually progressed to the Western Hockey League where he spent four years playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Calgary Hitmen and Medicine Hat Tigers. He also played seven years of professional hockey from 1996 to 2003, highlighted by a stint with the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans in 1997-98. 

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Fraser Valley Thunderbirds

Darrin Ponak, Co-General Manager

11th season

Darrin Ponak is entering his 11th season as the general manager of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, joining the program in 2012. The Abbotsford native previously held the role of Pee Wee director with Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association for four seasons from 2008-2012. 

Ponak obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education/Geography from Trinity Western University while also playing for their men’s hockey team. He later obtained both his Bachelor of Education and Diploma in Special Education from the University of British Columbia and his Master’s in Administration from San Diego State University. He currently works as a teacher in the Lower Mainland.

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Fraser Valley Thunderbirds

Troy Stordy, Co-General Manager

1st season

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Troy Stordy is entering his first season in the BCEHL. He will split the general manager duties with Darrin Ponak. Stordy has worked as the Vice President of Mission Minor Hockey Association since 2010. He has also served as the development director and a coach in the association since he joined MMHA in 2010.

Stordy, who currently lives in Mission, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Simon Fraser University. Away from the rink Stordy currently works as a Correctional Program Officer.

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Fraser Valley Thunderbirds

Riley Emmerson, Head Coach

4th season

Riley Emmerson is entering his first season with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds and his fourth in the BCEHL. Previously,  he was with the Valley West Giants for three years. He was a player coach with the Edinburgh Capitals of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) in the U.K. during the final season of his playing career, which was also the start of his coaching career. He loves the challenge of pushing players to their best both on and off the ice. His coaching career highlight was a 16 round shootout win against the Greater Vancouver Canadians in the Pat Quinn Tournament.

Before Emmerson started coaching, he carved himself out a successful playing career, playing 10 years of professional hockey. In 2005 he was drafted to the National Hockey League by the Minnesota Wild and played in the East Coast Hockey league (ECHL), American Hockey League (AHL), Central Hockey League (CHL), and the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).

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Greater Vancouver Canadians

Al Wozney, General Manager

11th season

Alain Wozney will oversee both the Greater Vancouver Canadians and the Fraser Valley Rush teams this season. Wozney is entering his 10th season working in the BCEHL and his 9th with the Fraser Valley Rush program, serving as the program’s general manager since the 2014-15 season. He will also take on the role of general manager with the Greater Vancouver Canadians program for his second season. He last oversaw the Canadians in this role during the 2013-14 season. Wozney has over 40 years of experience working and playing in the minor hockey system in B.C.  

Wozney played his minor hockey with Burnaby Winter Club before progressing to Junior A and playing with the Burnaby Bluehawks. He then attended the Memorial University of Newfoundland, studying Psychology and Humanities. He is now self-employed and works in hockey management.

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Greater Vancouver Canadians

Sinclair Kim, Head Coach

3rd season

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Sinclair Kim is in his third season as a coach with the Greater Vancouver Canadians. Hockey has taken Kim all over the world, with stops in South Korea and most recently Sweden. He has worked with players from all levels from beginners to professionals. His passion is to help young players grow, both on-and-off the ice.

After growing up and playing hockey in the lower mainland, Kim continued his hockey playing journey all the way to the college level. His coaching career highlight is getting to coach in a different country and experiencing different hockey cultures.

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North Island Silvertips

Lance Vaillancourt, General Manager

1st season

Lance Vaillancourt is entering his first season as general manager of the North Island Silvertips program. Previously, Vaillancourt was the Associate Coach & Hockey Operations Manager for the South Zone Knights U18 Tier 1 team. He has also performed various coaching roles with Penticton Minor Hockey at all levels within the association. Vaillancourt brings over 35 years of experience within minor hockey to the Silvertips.  

In addition to his work within minor hockey in B.C., Vaillancourt was also a linesman within BC Hockey and worked as a linesman in the BCHL. Away from the rink he works as a civil servant with the Federal Government.

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North Island Silvertips

Dave Boehm, Head Coach

3rd season

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After spending a pair of seasons as assistant coach with the North Island Silvertips program, Dave Boehm steps into the head coaching role with the U15 AAA Silvertips this season for the first time. Boehm has over 20 years of experience with Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association, coaching from the U7 to U18 level, and serving on the Board of Directors for three years.  

Boehm played his minor hockey with Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association before beginning his coaching career. Away from the rink, Boehm works in commercial banking.   

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Okanagan Rockets

Steve Smith, General Manager

1st season

Steve Smith is embarking on his first season as a general manager in the BCEHL. Smith also serves as the Executive Director of Kelowna Minor Hockey Association, a role he has held since 2017. Prior to this he was the Division Director for Kelowna Minor Hockey Association from 2010-17, and a coach in the association from 2008-17 as well.  

The Kelowna native has compiled over 17 years of experience working in minor hockey in Kelowna.

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Okanagan Rockets

Max Mowat, Head Coach

3rd season

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Max Mowat is now in his third-year coaching with the Okanagan Rockets program. In addition to his work with the Rockets, shares his passion for hockey through his roles at On the Edge Hockey Academy, the Stinger's Spring Hockey and private on and off ice skills work.

Mowat grew up in Oakville, Ontario and played his minor hockey with some notable players on the Toronto Marlies in the GTHL: Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome, Evan Rodrigues and Nicole Kosta. He wrapped up his playing career with the University of Calgary Dinos before he transitioned to coaching and developing young athletes. Max now resides in Coldstream, BC.

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Thompson Blazers

Jan Antons, General Manager

4th season

Jan Antons is embarking on his sixth year working within the BCEHL and fourth year as the Thompson Blazers’ General Manager. Antons has 15 years of experience working in hockey. During that time, he also served as the equipment manager of Team Canada’s Para Hockey team at the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.    

Antons earned his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary’s Haskanye School of Business.

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Thompson Blazers

Mark Chase, Head Coach

2nd season

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Mark Chase is in his second season with the U15 AAA Thompson Blazers, and his 17th year coaching overall. He is currently in the final stages of completing his master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and his goal is to balance coaching with his future development of a mental health practice designed to focus on working with athletes involved in sports.

Chase was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with his team while concurrently learning other staff members and players. He believes that participating in coaching creates opportunities to network with like-minded individuals and allows them to collaborate with each other.

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Valley West Giants

Jamie Fiset, General Manager

5th season

Jamie Fiset is entering his fifth year in the BCEHL as general manager with the Valley West Giants and brings an additional eight years of experience working in minor hockey previously. He has been involved with BC Hockey’s Program of Excellence including as the head coach of Team BC at the 2016 WHL Cup.  

Fiset was a board member with Langley Minor Hockey Association from 2010-14. Away from the rink Fiset is a teacher, he completed his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia before earning his Master of Arts at Royal Roads University. 

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Valley West Giants

Nate Fleming, Head Coach

1st season

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Nate Fleming will take charge of the Valley West Giants’ U15 AAA team this season, marking his first year in the BCEHL. Fleming has held multiple coaching positions over the last six years, including positions within Vancouver Thunderbirds Minor Hockey Association, Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association and most recently, as the full-time assistant coach with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds Men’s Hockey Team, where they qualified for the National Championship for the first time in 40 years.

Fleming played his minor hockey in St. Albert, AB, before playing his junior hockey for the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He is a graduate of UBC, where he continued to play hockey and earned degrees in Kinesiology and Education. He finished his playing career with a couple of seasons overseas in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) and Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL). He now works as a PHE teacher in Surrey. 

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Vancouver North East Chiefs

Greg Harding, General Manager

6th season

Greg Harding is entering his sixth season with the Vancouver NE Chiefs program and his fourth as the general manager of the program. The Surrey, B.C. native has been involved in minor hockey for 20 years, previously assuming roles with the Richmond Sockeyes of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) and Langley Minor Hockey Association.  

Harding played his minor hockey at Burnaby Winter Club and Langley Minor Hockey Association before going on to play for the Delta Ice Hawks, Queens Park Pirates and Richmond Sockeyes of the PJHL. Harding also works full-time with BC Hydro.
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Vancouver North East Chiefs

Tim Knight, Head Coach

11th season

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Tim Knight has coached hockey programs around the lower mainland and Sea to Sky area for the past 25 years. He has been involved with BC Hockey's U16 Pursuit of Excellence program for 10 years and has coached multiple U18AAA/U15AAA clubs with the BCEHL.

He is the founder of three High School hockey academies in the Sea to Sky Region and also was part of establishing the BC Hockey High School Championship BCHSHL Pilot. His goal is for the program to serve the young men throughout their years in hockey, but more importantly teach them values that they can take for the rest of their lives.

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Vancouver North West Hawks

Matt Samson, General Manager

1st season

Matt Samson joins the Vancouver NW Hawks with over 10 years of coaching and management experience in minor and junior hockey. He most recently worked as the head coach and general manager of the North Vancouver Wolf Pack of the PJHL from 2018-22. During that time span he also worked as the head coach of the Squamish A1 U13 team.  

The Squamish, B.C. native works in hockey coaching and development full-time. He played for the Buffalo State College men’s hockey team where he also obtained a Bachelor Degree in Communications.
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Vancouver North West Hawks

Darrel Stanwood, Head Coach

3rd season

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This will be Darrel Stanwood’s third year working in the BCEHL and his first with the Vancouver North West Hawks program. He will take charge of the U15 AAA team. He has previously worked with the Greater Vancouver Canadians program, spending one season as a head coach and one season as an assistant. In addition to 20 years of experience within minor hockey, Stanwood also has experience coaching at a high level in the province, guiding Team BC’s Female program at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in 2019 and 2022. 

Originally from West Vancouver, the Hollyburn Minor Hockey alum played professionally in Germany for ERC Ingolstadt for three seasons before beginning his journey behind the bench.